Supporting the Education of McKinney-Vento Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
What is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act?
- Originally passed in 1987
- Reauthorized in 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- Works hand-in-hand with Title 1, Part A and other federal education programs (e.g. IDEA, Head Start)
- Federal law that addresses the educational barriers and challenges created by homelessness by guaranteeing students experiencing homelessness the right to enroll in and attend school, and providing supports needed for school success
Who qualifies as Homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act?
- Lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Including:
- Sharing housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, eviction or similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Living in an emergency or transitional shelters, or are abandoned in hospitals
- Living in a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (including cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing living spaces with no water or electricity)
- Children of migratory workers living in any of the circumstances above
Who qualifies as McKinney-Vento Unaccompanied Youth?
To be eligible for McKinney-Vento services/funds the child or youth must meet BOTH of the following:
- A child or youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent AND
- Lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as defined above by the McKinney-Vento Act
All McKinney-Vento Eligible Children have the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education
- Enroll in school IMMEDIATELY, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment such as immunization, birth certificate or proof of residency)
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
- Enroll in the local area school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school the student attended when permanently housed/the school in which the student was last enrolled), if that is the parent/guardian’s preference.
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if the parent/guardian requests.
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students based on the child’s needs.
What are the TCPS Enrollment Procedures for students qualifying under McKinney-Vento?
All enrollments in TCPS are done through the local school counselor. When a McKinney-Vento family, child, or youth present themselves at a school or shelter, the School Counselor and Student Services Worker shall be notified immediately to expedite the school enrollment/placement process. Every attempt will be made to place McKinney-Vento students in the school and program which is deemed by the school and parent, to be in the child’s “best interest” (see the below two school choice options).
In what school can a McKinney-Vento eligible student enroll?
- The School of Origin is the last school the student attended at the time of becoming eligible for McKinney-Vento. Transportation to and from the School of Origin, if requested by the parent/guardian or by local liaison on behalf of a McKinney-Vento eligible unaccompanied youth.
- The Local School is the school that is served by the address where temporary housing is located.
Any other school besides the School of Origin or the Local School requested is considered an Out of Area Request. If the parent/guardian, applies for and is granted permission to attend an Out of Area school, transportation for the Out of Area school will not be provided.
What happens when a McKinney-Vento eligible family obtains permanent housing during the school year?
After a student has been approved and classified as eligible for McKinney-Vento, the student will remain under McKinney-Vento effective for the entire school year even if the family obtains permanent housing that same school year. Once permanent housing has been acquired, the School Counselor must collect the required Proof of Residency documents and place them in the student’s cumulative file.
Note: The designated School Counselor serves as the McKinney-Vento contact who will assist with enrollment of McKinney-Vento eligible students. Please contact the specific school for this information.
To Obtain Additional Information about McKinney-Vento eligibility, rights or support services, please contact:
School Based Services to Support McKinney-Vento Children:
Multi-Level Intervention Process (MLIP) A multi-tiered approach to providing the most effective student support for those students who require various forms of assistance to address any barriers to successful academic progress and school attendance. The goal of this multi-level intervention process is to join the academic/instructional program with the student support services and resources to the maximum extent possible.
Drop Out Prevention Identify students at risk of dropping out of school by early identification and assessing level of risk based on standardized set of criteria including attendance, grades, behavior and other risk factors. Once identified work with students, staff, parents/guardians to evaluate situations, problem solve, resolve conflict, refer to appropriate professionals and enhance student success in school. Apply an appropriate prevention/intervention strategy that maximizes student success and fosters a sense of community.
Re-engagement Work with students who have disengaged from the educational system. Make personal contact with students and their parents/guardians within ten days of dropping out and again 30-45 days for the purpose of determining reasons for dropping out and removing barriers to re-entry into the school system. Contact all students who have dropped out in the last 5 years to offer needed services. These services could be educational or in the workplace.
Scholarship & Financial Aid Resources for McKinney-Vento Students:
Maryland Tuition Waiver for McKinney-Vento Unaccompanied Youth: